How did other StL managers like Matheny fare?

With one spring training win in the books for Mike Matheny, we review the careers of previous St. Louis Cardinals managers with similar backgrounds.

When Mike Matheny was named to the head uniformed job of the St. Louis Cardinals on November 13, much attention was given to the fact that he lacked managerial experience. In fact, he had not even served as a coach at the major league level.

Matheny
Part of that is due to his relative youth. Back on November 13, when the announcement was made, I showed that at 41 years of age, Matheny is the youngest Cards skipper since 35-year-old Solly Hemus took over in 1959.

Now that Matheny has his first official managerial victory under his belt, albeit a spring training game, it seems the ideal time to revisit this subject.

Rather return to the previous age-based comparison, this time around I am looking at it from the experiential perspective.

Perhaps because of the relatively recent successes of Tony La Russa and Whitey Herzog, it may seem most of the team's skippers had prior major league managerial experience. It turns out that isn't the case.

Of the 30 managerial stints with the Cardinals over the last century, Matheny is the 22nd to receive his initial MLB chance with St. Louis.

Number Seasons Avg Seasons Win % WS titles
1st timers 22 75 3.6 0.518 6
Repeaters 8 52 6.5 0.542 5

The prior 21 newbies lasted an average of 3.6 seasons, while not surprisingly, the experienced skippers stayed longer on the job, 6.5 years on average. (Note that partial seasons are rounded upward.)

Accordingly, the first-timers' teams won at a .518 clip compared to the .542 win rate for the rebounding managers. None of the four first-time managers since Red Schoendienst managed a career winning record at the helm of the team, however.

Despite that, the new managers have collected the majority of the franchise's 11 World Championships at six.

Now, let's get into the qualifications of these 22 first-time managers. (For this article, name links go to the managers' pages at Baseball-Reference.com.)

Manager DOB Age MLB coach MiLB mgr
Mike Matheny 9/22/1970 41 no no
Mike Jorgensen 8/16/1948 46 no yes
Ken Boyer 5/20/1931 46 yes yes
Jack Krol 7/5/1936 41 yes yes
Vernon Rapp 5/11/1928 48 no yes
Red Schoendienst HOF 2/2/1923 42 yes no
John Keane 11/3/1911 49 yes yes
Solly Hemus 4/17/1923 35 no no
Harry Walker 10/22/1916 38 no yes
Eddie Stanky 9/13/1915 36 no no
Marty Marion 12/1/1917 33 no no
Eddie Dyer 10/11/1899 46 no yes
Ray Blades 8/6/1896 42 no yes
Mike Gonzalez 9/24/1890 47 yes no
Frankie Frisch HOF 9/9/1898 34 no no
Gabby Street 9/30/1882 46 yes yes
Billy Southworth HOF 3/9/1893 36 no yes
Bob O'Farrell 10/19/1896 30 no no
Rogers Hornsby HOF 4/27/1896 29 no no
Jack Hendricks 4/9/1875 42   yes
Miller Huggins HOF 3/27/1878 35 no no
Roger Bresnahan HOF 6/11/1879 29 no no

Manager Yrs From To Gms W L W-L% WSw
Mike Matheny   2012            
Mike Jorgensen 1 1995 1995 96 42 54 0.438  
Ken Boyer 3 1978 1980 357 166 190 0.466  
Jack Krol 2 1978 1980 3 1 2 0.333  
Vernon Rapp 2 1977 1978 179 89 90 0.497  
Red Schoendienst HOF 14 1965 1990 1999 1041 955 0.522 1
John Keane 4 1961 1964 567 317 249 0.560 1
Solly Hemus 3 1959 1961 384 190 192 0.497  
Harry Walker 1 1955 1955 118 51 67 0.432  
Eddie Stanky 4 1952 1955 501 260 238 0.522  
Marty Marion 1 1951 1951 155 81 73 0.526  
Eddie Dyer 5 1946 1950 777 446 325 0.578 1
Ray Blades 2 1939 1940 194 106 85 0.555  
Mike Gonzalez 2 1938 1940 23 9 13 0.409  
Frankie Frisch HOF 6 1933 1938 822 458 354 0.564 1
Gabby Street 5 1929 1933 556 312 242 0.563 1
Billy Southworth HOF 7 1929 1929 90 43 45 0.489  
Bob O'Farrell 1 1927 1927 153 92 61 0.601  
Rogers Hornsby HOF 2 1925 1926 271 153 116 0.569 1
Jack Hendricks 1 1918 1918 133 51 78 0.395  
Miller Huggins HOF 5 1913 1917 774 346 415 0.455  
Roger Bresnahan HOF 4 1909 1912 618 255 352 0.420  
8770 4509 4196 0.518

Eddie "The Brat" Stanky
One-third of the 21 prior to Matheny, seven, were similar to him in that they had neither a prior major league coaching job nor minor league managerial experience on their respective resumes. However, Matheny is the first in the last 60 years, specifically since Eddie Stanky took over prior to the 1952 season.

In one way though, Matheny stands alone. A huge difference in his case is the almost six-year gap between the conclusion of his playing career and the beginning of his managerial stint. Each of the seven others never took off his uniform between his playing and managing years.

In fact, they often coincided. The past moves reflected the more-common practice of the player-manager in MLB, a rarity in today's game. Further, four of the seven became Hall of Famers at least partially due to success as a player.

In the second article of this series, we will look into the histories of the seven managerial ‘brothers' of Matheny, a group I call "The Matheny Seven."



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his minor league features during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2012 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


The Cardinal Nation Top Stories